We’ve been dealing with something that was basically unheard of close to a year ago. I can recall meeting my daughters for lunch in the winter of 2020.

We were sitting at a Mexican restaurant as I told them the latest news about the Coronavirus, before it was really dubbed COVID-19.

I have more time in my life to stay on top of current events and news and I was trying to impress upon them how I thought this was going to change our lives.

One Year Ago A Pandemic Changed Our Lives:

I don’t think they were all that frightened by what I was saying I’d read at that point. We were in the beginning stages of all this.

I have to say I was a contented person before this happened. But it wasn’t as easy to feel peaceful and relaxed when life changed in so many ways. Wearing a mask, washing and washing my hands, and social distancing.

And having to remember to do all those things so as not to get this deadly virus that has now killed over half a million Americans.

So I sought even more ways to find relaxation in my life to calm my worries over it all.

5 Tips For Relaxation To Implement During Trying Times:

  • I started listening to music again. Something I hadn’t done in ages. I love instrumentals. Particularly the piano. And so now I have soft relaxing music in my line up of ways to relax.
  • A ordered a new sound machine. And I just adore it. I like to listen to the one that sounds like water babbling over rocks. I never turn if off actually. It is so peaceful I think even Charlie and Ivy are sleeping better!
  • I joined a book club. I was already reading a lot of books. But I’m really enjoying the Book Of The Month Club. It brings new books to my attention that I might not have heard of yet.
  • I brought home more house plants. Walking through my favorite garden nursery is one of the few things that still seems normal. It is a really open space and I feel safer with all that fresh air. Did you know that house plants are good for your mental health?
  • I’m not as compulsive about cleaning. Now I give myself a break. I don’t stick to a schedule of cleaning my apartment on a certain day of the week. With the reality of a pandemic, cleaning does not seem to be as much of a high priority as before.
  • Take a drive down country roads and enjoy the scenery.

If you’re still running through life on a treadmill (and I know many of you don’t have much choice), please try to find more ways to take care of yourself.

We often skip that and take care of everything and everybody else under the sun but yours truly.

Try to carve out more time for just you. Doing what you love. Being solitary and not feeling guilty about it.

What are some ways you’ve found to find contentment during this scary time?


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  1. Self care is important as you mention but something that a lot of women put low on their priority. Thing is, if we’re not 100% we have less to offer others.

  2. I’ve been busy purging my home. I had no idea I had accumulated so many items of clothing and I’ve identified myself as a pocket book addicted woman. I’m trying to decide if I want an intervention or not. I need one but might not truly welcome it. I’ve adopted three cats and feed and care for a feral colony. I do seem to be getting more ill during this time. I developed a bleeding ulcer and almost died from that. Landed in the hospital with blood transfusions and had to stay three days. In addition developed a fib and now my back is going out and doctor is recommending surgery. I don’t blame this on the pandemic but it sure gets me down at times. I live alone and don’t get to see my son or grandchildren very often as they live several states away. Taking care of the cats and the ferals keep me going. I have set a goal to fill a bag a day of things I don’t need to try to keep my decluttering going and maybe in this way it won’t be overwhelming or tax my back too much. On the bright side I will get my second Covid shot this coming Sunday. I know I will be a great feeling. On the day I got my first shot I was almost euphoric. I believe in science and will follow it and Dr. Faucci and maybe we can beat this thing.

  3. I’ve spent most of my time embracing my love of handwork, especially counted x-stitch. Sitting for extended periods with my needle and thread makes me very happy. Ironically, it’s something I hadn’t done in over 20 years but just before the pandemic it came back to me with a vengeance. I’m extremely thankful! I take Cooper, my dog, for walks several times a day. I have a nice pile of books that I know I’d enjoy reading but for some reason I can’t seem to concentrate for long periods of time. Last fall I tried to do a little sewing but it wasn’t meant to be because the needle bar on my machine broke. I waited until after the holidays to have it repaired. I don’t mind spending time alone but there have been times that the quiet is overwhelming. My family is only 5 minutes away but we only see each from a safe distance on occasion. I’m sorry this is so long!

  4. Wise advice my friend. For many life has certainly changed over the past year. For me, I am the happiest at home, I am a homebody so the pandemic did not change much for me except restricting my travel. I love all of your tips and advice. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy your sweet pets.

  5. Good points! I was in England visiting my son, dil and grandchildren over a year ago. Except for video calls, which are a lifesaver haven’t seen them since, nor the grandchild in the US.
    Although I have things to do at home, the stress of no interaction face to face with friends and lack of a vaccine has gotten worse. I was literally gett8ng ready to call my doctor for antidepressants when her office called with Covid vaccine appts for my husband and myself..
    I can honestly say it was better than winning the lottery!

  6. I’ve started reading actual books again which is something I had let fall by the wayside…and I’ve been crafting, that’s always my go to.

  7. Brenda,
    this sounds counterintuitive, but this last year I’ve been taking care of several of my older neighbors.
    We all live out in the country and their kids are many miles away; (my daughter, son-in-law and our grandkids are 1162 miles from us). My husband and I have run them to their Dr. and Vet appointments and to help grocery shop. Approximately once a month we run up to Olympia, Wa. to Costco for toilet paper and other items.
    Organizing: 1. Holiday stuff 2. Garage 3. Closets Since Wa. state has partially opened, we have started purging .
    Outdoors: revamping the landscaping so it is not so labor intensive.
    Adopted a special needs pup; Lucy was born with a slight spinal deformity. She can’t jump up on the furniture!!! But, this French Brittany can walk and that’s what we do!
    Church; it has been horrible to not be able attend Mass! But, I have been watching it on T.V. Thank goodness for E-mail and telephone to stay in touch with friends and members of our parish…
    Clubs: our Garden Club and Book Club used to meet downstairs in the local Library, monthly or more depending on the weather. We’ve lost several important elderly members this past year to health issues (NOT COVID). One of my dearest friends, Audrey was looking forward to her 100th birthday. Two weeks before her June B’Day she passed in her sleep. She had such a green thumb and a beautiful yard that she was still able to tend to. We hope to have a special memorial to her and others who have enriched our lives with their presence and knowledge.

  8. Things have certainly changed for me. I had been in a decluttering project for more years than I will tell. I finally finished this during the summer of 2020. The key was stacking papers in three groups:
    Urgent, Later and Historical.
    I do not clean house every day or even every week like did for years. It is a more relaxed lifestyle. Now I bake, read, work puzzles, and listen to music. Take care.

  9. I enjoy food preparation now more than I use to, as I have found eating right helps so much in our bodies. I find it An important task in my day to prepare good meals knowing this is medicine to my body to remain healthy. I wonder if I will ever go back to frequently eating out as I rather like the slow pace of our meals now at home. We are lucky around us in NY to have good grocery stores with fresh vegetables and so much else that last a long time so I am not lacking for anything.
    Rachael Ray has been fun for me to watch knowing she has had her challenges not having her usual home which burned last summer, not being in her studio and still coming up with ideas to cook for dinner when she doesn’t have quick access to take out. And she lost her dog too so she is a strong woman thru this last year.

  10. I started walking at least 2 miles almost every day. Besides the obvious physical benefit,(I lost 40 pounds!), it has been a sanity saver. A few times over the past year I’ve taken trash bags with me and a plastic grabbing gadget my husband found at Atwoods, and cleaned up the trash alongside a road near my neighborhood. I kept asking myself why didn’t “they” clean it all up and one day I decided I could be “they”. So oddly satisfying. Sewing, reading, listening to music, cleaning closets and drawers…. rearranging the pantry…. I’m so glad the weather is starting to take a turn for the better. Can’t wait to plant some flowers!

    1. I’m very impressed that you claimed the project cleaning up a road and decided you were “ they”. Kudos to you on a job more than well done. You’re truly inspirational.

  11. Hi Brenda
    Thank you for the tips. I love looking at pics of your home. So pretty and peaceful. You have such a knack for putting things together and decorating. We recently moved from a large home in another state and have so much stuff. I’m overwhelmed actually. We put most items in a storage unit. Love my things but downsized and have a hard time letting things go. That’s the hardest for me. So many people have given me beautiful items as we pastored a church for 25 years. So many good memories with these gifts. I don’t even know where to begin and have health issues.

    1. I am also overwhelmed at the prospect of downsizing/decluttering. I am widowed, work a full time job and don’t have much extra energy between work, taking care of the house on my own and the dog and cat. Maybe this can be a future topic Brenda can highlight in an upcoming post.

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